U.S. Foreign Policy Part 2 – Russia in the US Elections

I was recently scrolling through the television channels and came across The Putin Interviews by Oliver Stone. After watching these I became intrigued. My curiosity was drawn to two facts – i) Vladimir Putin has denied his country’s involvement with the US Presidential Elections and ii) how the media has blown this way out of proportion.

 

Putin has repeatedly justified a country’s right to meddle in the US elections.  For example, when he said, “Put your finger anywhere on a map of the world, and everywhere you will hear complaints that American officials are interfering in internal electoral processes.” These kind of quotes lead me to believe he wants to create the illusion that it is alright to fight America, without admitting to it directly. I believe Putin is a nationalist and as such wants to see a new and improved Soviet-style government in as many countries as possible. By this I mean he dislikes the West’s long-time expansion of power.  In my opinion, his opposition to this is based on a belief that he doesn’t like regular people having political power. He wants a government that gives the people what they NEED and not what they WANT. This allows for him and his inner circle to stay in power while having a stable nation.

 

There have been many investigations and accusations that Russia somehow “hacked” our election. However,  I would like to rely on the definition of term “hacked” used by the Trump Administration, rather than the one used by the Press. I do believe that the Russia government downloaded DNC data, analyzed voting patterns, and sought to gain political advantages over their US counter-parts. However, I do believe there were no changes, alterations, or manipulations of any vote.

 

When 17 US agencies state that Russia “hacked” our election, I grow worried. I am concerned because to my knowledge they are misleading the American people. Many senior officials have testified Russia did not influence any vote. So why is this conversation continuing ? We have some members of the press that are now getting fired for reckless and care-free accusations that have no merit. As the American people who keep these news organizations in business, if we see this kind of irresponsible behavior, we simply must stop reading and stop subscribing to media outlets who continue these practices. These reporters write articles based on one anonymous source and claim it to be 100% factual. I would like to know if these “sources” aren’t just low-ranking office interns seeking attention.

Lastly, I would be curious to see the reaction if the US were ever accused of interfering with elections in countries such as China or Japan. If the US did what Russia has done there would be a very different scenario. First off, I believe the foreign government would stop diplomatic communications with America (which the US has not done to Russia). Then, they would have an independent review of materials that were compromised, rather than merely assigning a special council to launch an unfocused investigation into leading political rivals as has been the case in the United States. Finally, because they have more conviction than our politicians, China or Japan would likely instigate trade sanctions and tariffs creating economic hardship on the United States. Said another way, all these points demonstrate my belief in how poorly the United States is presently handling this situation. We have let the press have a field day through unchecked and reckless reporting. Instead, we have chosen to investigate our Commander in Chief and his administration, but not the country – Russia – who actually compromised our systems by accessing our records.

All in all, I believe Russia gained access to records regarding our elections but did not change any vote. I also believe Putin has been using shaky justification to defend his country’s cyber intrusion into vital US data bases, and finally that the US has poorly handled this situation and turned it into an embarrassment. So I leave you with this question – “Because we are now a worldwide laughing stock, did Putin actually succeed with his objective ?”

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U.S. Foreign Policy Part 1 – North Korea and Global Presence

With the death of Otto Warmbier, relations have been at an all time low between the U.S. and North Korea. President Trump has called the incident, “failure of diplomacy,”  and he’s right. Otto Warmbier allegedly took down a propaganda poster and was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment and hard labor. Regardless whether or not he committed the “crime”,  he should never have spent a night in a North Korean prison! The Obama administration failed to bring him home, which eventually led to his physical deterioration and death.

 

However, this is not the only failed part of our relations with North Korea. The US repeatedly  says that we are applying sanctions and other punishments to this horrendous regime, but it doesn’t seem to have any affect on them. I’m not sure if Kim Jung Un is somehow making under ground deals with foreign entities or if these “sanctions” are Chinese global propaganda. But, it seems clear to me that this strategy is not working. The regime keeps building more of a military arsenal with an unknown amount of nukes and other deadly devices. It is unclear if they can be stopped.

 

I believe that too many countries aren’t worried about this nuclear buildup, especially the US. For instance in the  50’s, 60’s, and 70’s it seemed that the US had a much more dominant foreign presence. Even though operations and wars failed like the Bay of Pigs and The Vietnam War, the US was still actively engaging in global issues. Although some would say that these times were a mistake because it resulted in the escalation of the Cold War and the eventual Defcon 2 alert,  I believe that this was  a very necessary and positive experience that we have forgotten the benefit of. It set boundaries for where ICBM’s (Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile) could and could not be placed. It exemplified how taxing communism and dictators could be. It also, spawned a generation of people who understood the importance of being American.

 

In recent years we have forgotten a lot of these lessons which has lead to our failure in diplomacy. We as Americans have been negligent to the almost invasive policies of NATO, where we have 150,000 US personal serving overseas and missile silo’s in dozens of countries. We need to understand that invading a country like North Korea is not a bad thing if they are truly acting out of control. Yet, we cannot and should not let our military get to the point where we have a monopoly all over the world. It is indeed a delicate balancing act.